Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Panchvati Garlic Dal (Mixed Lentil Soup) - A Healthier Choice

"Garlic Dal", similar to Lentil Soup, is a favored variation to Gujarati Dal, especially for the people of North India, and this particular Panchvati Garlic Dal recipe is a great wya to enjoy a bunch of lentils at a time! It is called Panchvati, because it combines the goodness of 5 different kinds of dals(lentils) and is deliciously flavored with garlic, spices, ghee, green chilies and quite a bit of cilantro. The mixture of dals gives this a nice thick texture, and the aroma of ghee (clarified butter) makes it a treat to consume even by itself, perhaps as a lentil soup! Combine the Panchvati Garlic Dal with parathas or plain Jeera Rice, and you are all set for a delicious meal!

I used 5 kinds of lentils in the recipe, but you can omit any of them depending on your taste and/or availability of the lentils.

1 cup toor dal (Pigeon-peas or Split Red Gram, yellow colored)
1 cup moong dal (Green Gram or mung Bean, split, without skin, yellow colored)
1/2 cup chana dal (Split, skinless black chickpeas, yellow)
1/2 cup urad dal (Black gram, split and skinless, whitish in color)
1/2 cup masoor dal (Red lentils, Split and skinless, pinkish-red in color)
6-8 cloves of garlic
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup cilantro - chopped, and some more for garnish
1/2 onion - finely chopped
3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
3 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala powder (indian grocery stores should have it)
salt - to taste
lemon juice - to taste
2 tsp black pepper powder
2 green chillies - cut finely

Mix all the dals and pressure cook them with 6 cups of water in a pressure cooker until 5-6 whistles. We want all of them to be thoroughly cooked. Once that is done, remove in a bowl and blend them well in a grinder, spinning for about a minute or so, ensuring that all dal/lentils are broken down and a smooth puree is formed.

Take the chopped coriander and grind it with 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp water to form a smooth paste.

Now take a pan, add the ghee to it, add the cumin seeds, green chillies and garlic, and saute for a couple of minutes. Then add the finely chopped onions and saute again till they turn brownish and glossy.

Next add the garam masala powder, turmeric powder, black pepper and the cilantro paste. Now add the lentils and fill up with sufficient water to achieve desired consistency. Mix everything well, then add salt and lemon juice according to your taste, and let it cook covered, for about 10 mins or so. Stir in between to make sure it does not stick to the base of the pan. When it becomes thick and starts boiling, remove from flame.

Transfer the dal or soup to a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped coriander and some more fresh black pepper if desired, and serve hot with Jeera Rice!

This Garlic Dal is a great way to fill yourself with some protein and fiber, and the beautiful blend of flavors makes it apt for a Lentil Soup recipe too!

Related Recipes:
Gujarati Dal
Mix-Vegetable & Coconut Milk Soup
Roasted Cauliflower & Bell-Peper Soup

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